Well we finally made it to the end of yet another long-ass MLS Season, and for the third year all of the matches will kick off at the same time. Eight of the 11 matches have potential playoff implications, ranging anywhere from seeding of all but two spots (in the Eastern Conference), all the way to three teams fighting for the 6th seed (in the Western Conference). Additionally MLS will be saying goodbye (and good riddance) to RFK Stadium as DC United move into their own fancy ass stadium next year. So the fifteen DCU fans should be upset about that.
NYCFC v Austin (Columbus) Crew SC – Too soon? Probably too soon. As a lifelong Minnesota fan I know all too well the threat and actual happenings of your team leaving. I was but 11 years old when the North Stars relocated to Dallas and I watched as the Minnesota Twins were nearly contracted in the late 90s, so I feel the Crew fans pain and anguish and hatred towards Precourt. NYCFC lost to the Revolution last weekend and left the door open for one of three other teams to overtake them for second place, including the Crew, though for that to happen the Crew would need to beat NYCFC and both Atlanta and Chicago to drop points. NYCFC wins 3-1.
San Jose Earthquakes v MNUFC – San Jose controls their destiny and a shot at the sixth seed in the playoffs, despite holding a -22 goal differential, because MLS is fucking stupid! San Jose beat MNUFC back in April thanks to a Florian Jungwirth goal. San Jose will be looking to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. San Jose wins 2-0.
Atlanta United FC v Toronto FC – Toronto FC is just trying to end the season healthy while Atlanta is just the second expansion team to qualify for the playoffs in the Designated Player era (Seattle Sounders). Atlanta is currently in 4th place and would host the Crew if nothing changes, but they sure would like that Wild Card bye and outside of NYCFC have the best shot at it. If Atlanta drops all the points to TFC and the Crew manage a draw, those teams would swap spots and hosting duties. Draw 2-2.
Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps – This is the game of the weekend and one that has the most in terms of playoff implications. The Whitecaps control their destiny and can finish no lower than third, though a draw would see them win the Western Conference. All the Timbers need is a win to secure the top spot in the West, although a draw or loss could see them slide all the way down to 4th place. The Timbers have won both matches so far this year 2-1 and with home field advantage on the line, expect the Timbros to be coming out hard. Timbers win 2-1.
Philadelphia Union v Orlando City SC – There is nothing at stake in this game. This game should just be abandoned. Draw 0-0.
FC Dallas v LA Galaxy – Someone will write epilogues for both of these teams. One will be about the most epic collapse in league history, the other will be the complete and absolute futility of the LA Galaxy at Stub Hub Center this year. FC Dallas has had the upper hand of the last couple of years, including a 2-1 win at LA earlier this year. Dallas needs a win and San Jose to drop points at home. If the Quakes go up early on MNUFC, FCD might just check out of this one early as well. LA Galaxy win 2-1.
Houston Dynamo v Chicago Fire – Both of these teams are playing for seeding (this is also the only cross-Conference match this weekend). The Dynamo have been the best home side in the Western Conference and have an outside shot at a finishing third. The Fire currently sit third in the East one point behind NYCFC and one point ahead of Atlanta United. The Fire can finish anywhere from 2nd – 5th. Dynamo win 3-1.
Montreal Impact v New England Revolution – This is the second of the three matches that mean absolutely nothing. Except the Revolution are trying to get their first and only away win of the year. The Revs are 0-3-13 on the road, though they have had Montreal’s number this year and last. In fact, the last time the Revolution have won on the road was September 2016, in Montreal. Over the last two years are 2-8-23 on the road! Montreal wins 1-0.
DC United v New York Red Bulls – The third match that has no playoff implications. This is mostly because Red Bulls are locked into the sixth spot on the Eastern Conference and have no ability to change that. As mentioned above this is the last match at RFK, which let’s be fair, that place is a complete shithole, especially for a soccer match. So good riddance. DC United has a goal differential of -28 which won’t be matched this year and they’ve scored the least amount of goal this year at 30, precisely half at home and half on the road. New York Red Bulls win 4-1.
Real Salt Lake v Sporting KC – Real Salt Lake has had pretty much the exact opposite experience of FC Dallas, starting out like hot garbage and coming on strong late in the season. There was definitely some bumps in the road for Petke’s men, but even having an outside shot at the playoffs is huge for RSL going forward. It’s been nearly a month since Sporking’s last win and what once was the inside track on the #1 seed in the Western Conference. They’ve dropped ten of 12 points including 5 points at home. Draw 2-2.
Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids – The Sounders can finish as high as 2nd or as low as 5th based on results throughout the day, so Sounders fan will be scoreboard watching at CenturyLink on Sunday! The Rapids should be an easy out, so they will be heavily focused on the Timbers-Caps match. Seattle will be looking to take care of business because they finished 2nd with a win, regardless of any other results. Anything less than a win and the Sounders will be sweating out all of the other matches. The Rapids have regained some form in their last three matches (all home matches), but a trip to the Emerald City and with the Rapids seeing those marijuana dispensaries in their future, I expect they will roll over without much of a fight. Sounders win 4-2.
Well there you have it! Make sure to check back early next week for The Daves playoff preview with lots of great TDIK coverage!